Cracking the Golf Dress Code
You’ve been grinding at the range every chance you get, making sure each club is dialed. You know the course layout. You’ve studied every possible pin location. The next round you have with that important client is going to be the one where you seal the deal.
You’re just missing one thing: if you want to play good, you need to look good. Let’s be honest, that old fraternity golf shirt isn’t exactly business professional, but what other golf attire do you have in the closet? Golf has the strictest dress code of any sport—ever. But that doesn’t mean you have to look like a stiff.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Before heading out to a company golf event, take a look at our dos and don’ts for a proper golf outfit on the links. This is the best way to stay within the rules while still looking great and feeling confident.
Golf shirts are the first piece of any golfing outfit
Your shirt has the potential to either make or break your look. While a T-shirt might work for your company’s kickball league, it’s a great way to get spotted as an amateur on the putting green (and can even get you kicked out of some country clubs, yikes). Instead, opt for a golf polo.
When choosing a polo, go with what you know. Neutral tones are always a safe bet, but that doesn’t mean you have to avoid bright colors and fun patterns. If you’re playing a round with the boss, we recommend a classic blue, navy, white, or gray polo. But if it’s Saturday with the boys, live it up. Sure, by choosing more neutral colors, you can sport a business casual look at the office then dip out early for tee time with a colleague without needing to change clothes. But pick the shirt that best represents your personality (and playing style). We respect floral prints. Don’t let anyone tell you differently
Lastly, when choosing a golf shirt, you want something that doesn’t just look good but feels good. Materials like polyester allow for a little stretch as you swing and wick moisture, preventing pit stains.
Dress for the weather with forecast friendly fashion
Fall and spring are some of the best seasons for golf, but they also have some of the most temperamental weather. If you’re not careful, you could be left sopping wet or freezing your butt off on hole two. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast before heading to the course.
To keep yourself from getting too cold during those early morning rounds when it’s still chilly out, a performance jacket or clubhouse quarter-zip can be a helpful addition to your attire. If it looks like there’s a chance for rain, windbreakers, rain jackets, and rain pants can keep you dry.
Shorts and pants for a proper golf outfit
Golf is an athletic game, so you might assume that gym shorts and sweatpants are perfectly acceptable. Nope. Don’t be surprised if you catch a few of the *ahem* elderly members still wearing slacks. But if you’re reading this, you’re ahead of the game, so no need to wear business slacks. The best thing you can do is find some athletic-feeling pants that still have the style for pseudo-business casual.
Just because you can’t wear sweatpants doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. In fact, the more comfortable you are, the better you’ll play. Look for pants with lightweight construction and stretchable fabric that allow you to move easily. During the hotter months, shorts or pants with moisture-wicking fabric can keep you cool, so you can focus on the game and not the sweat running down your legs.
Footwear for every golfer
You might be able to get away with a pair of sneakers for a casual game of putt-putt with your in-laws, but when you’re playing with the big boys, you’ll be happy you have golf shoes. When choosing your shoes, go with a soft spike or spikeless option. These will provide traction in a variety of course conditions and keep you from shredding the freshly manicured greens.
Every now and then, you’ll run across golf shoes with metal spikes. Don’t be the guy who wears metal spikes. Not only can they damage the turf, but they are no longer allowed by most clubs and also you aren’t Bryson.
Golf accessories make the outfit complete
We’ve covered the basics, but there are a few key accessories you need to complete the look. While many golfers avoid glasses so they can clearly see the ball, a pair of UV protectant lenses might actually improve your game.
If shades aren’t your style, consider getting a good hat. A golf hat can help protect your face from the sun, wind, and rain while also making a fashion statement. If you’re more of a classic guy, go for a golf visor or baseball cap. If you’re trying to mimic Gen Z fashion, we’ve been told bucket hats are cool. Whatever you choose, make sure you remove your hat in the clubhouse. That’s just good golf etiquette.
That’s all you need to know about proper golf attire, and those are our top tips for dressing to the nines for a round of golf. If you’re still unsure what to wear, the course will often be happy to confirm their dress code with a quick phone call. And remember: when you look good, you’ll play good.